The IPP Workshop Series
May 25, 2016
from 02:00 to 04:00
|Where||Phil I, GCSC, R.01|
|Contact Name||Natalya Bekhta|
|Contact Phone||+49 641 / 99-30 055|
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The Black Atlantic | Lea Hülsen & Isabel Kalous
Theorizing the Black Atlantic
Paul Gilroy’s seminal The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness (1993) has fundamentally influenced literary and cultural studies. For Gilroy, the Black Atlantic is a transcultural and transnational space characterized by the physical movement of people that crossed the ocean and an ongoing cultural exchange between the people of the African diaspora. Through the transatlantic slave trade – that connected Africa, Europe, and the Americas – people of African descent were scattered throughout the Atlantic world and the experience of trauma and displacement are central to cultural formations of the Black Atlantic. A distinct diasporic consciousness is expressed through the cultural productions of the African diaspora. The Atlantic emerges thus not only as separator but opens up a space that brings past and present histories of the people of the African diaspora together. Examining the transatlantic biographies of artists, authors, and intellectuals, Gilroy presents the history of the Black Atlantic in which black people figure not as victims and human commodities but as autonomous individuals. In this, the history of the Black Atlantic presents an alternative to Euro-American modernity.
More than two decades have passed since the publication of The Black Atlantic and it continuous to draw critical attention while also being subject to critique. In this workshop we will take into consideration the historical context from which it emerged and discuss the advantages of the concept of the Black Atlantic and its perspectives on nationality, identity, and diaspora; at the same time, we will look at its limitations and shortcomings.
- Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso, 1993. Print.